Paper tigers

High-Low technology

It's amazing how technology can infant its own counter movement. As a matter of fact, the more hi-tech Internet becomes, the more it offers low-tech activities that empower the Internet users. Craft activities have indeed boomed thanks to the Internet... And although one of the key promise of the digital world is a paper-free world, several examples have demonstrated, on the contrary that Internet can encourage paper consumption. And I am not talking about people printing their emails or maps to this brand new night club their colleague mentioned at the coffee break. No. I am referring to brilliant craft ideas that echo the offline momentum around origami and other paper-based, basic fun.

kidscanprint.com, an activity centre for parents

I mentioned in a previous post that Kodak has launched a new home printer and accompanied this product release with some online activities. Part of this project was to offer parents some peace of mind when they are stuck at home with their kids. Kidscanprint.com is an activity centre that allows the struggling mothers to entertain their kids with craft activities, of course all printer-based (but as Kodak's advertising says, the fun is even funnier when it does not cost a fortune, referring to their promise that their machine could make you save up to 50% on everything you print). Anyway, this site makes you to dive back into your childhood and play finger football again...


If you have not got enough with this pitch workout, you might consider Paper Critters. This site allows you to configure your own little paper robot. You fill the guides with loads of forms, images, colours, etc. Ultimately you create your very-own printable critter that you can fold and display on your desk as a proud representant of its online colony.

When you look at the gallery of paper critters, you realise that we are no longer talking of child's play here. This is serious business. Some very talented graphic designers are playing around with this little character. Just like origami is not a matter of making a plane of a boat, it can become way more complex.

Of course everyone has heard of the regressive trend that characterises the Generation-X. These young adults who enjoy partying on the rhythm of the cartoon soundtracks from the 80s. But I think that this is more than the Peter Pan syndrome, there is also a celebration of DIY in this phenomenon. It is all good to allow the machines do more and more, but sometime it is so great to realise that you can also do things by yourself. I mean beyond switching your computer on.

Hand-made has its own appeal. It might not be as perfect and flawless as a CAD product, but it has its virtues. It is yours, with your own efforts and sweat in it.

Amazing enough, an upcoming film celebrates this trend. A movie by one of the greatest commercial, video-clip, and now cinema director, academy-award winner Michel Gondry. In its upcoming feature, Be Kind Rewind, Gondry tells us the (his own?) story of two guys who decide to re-shoot the blockbusters of their video rental shop after one of them accidentally erases the originals.

This trailer is extremely promising, and totally backs up this article. Home-made is a growing trend and meets a very favourable response from the public who sometimes feel overwhelmed by the fast-paced technological development. So take out scissors and glue from the drawers, they are not over yet.

1 comment:

  1. Things like this are good at making the digital (virtual) world feel real. For making digital brand experiences more tangible. I think people need that. Instructibles.com is fabulous too, check it out.